How Agricultural Products Relate to Food Manufacturing

Introduction to Agricultural Products

Agricultural products are the foundation for the food market, including manufacturing and processing industries. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, agricultural exports surmounted $21.7 billion in 2019. This is a 3% increase in 2018, per the Crop Year Report. Additionally, organic product sales totaled over $10.4 billion in 2019, which is an increase of 3.5% from 2018.

As consumption of these products continues to grow, food service businesses need to understand what are agricultural goods. This knowledge will allow executives and organization leaders to gain better visibility into their production processes. It will also provide clarity into the different products they carry in their inventory.

What Is An Agricultural Product?

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Agricultural products are goods that come from plants, animals, and microorganisms. Also referred to as agricultural produce, agro products, and agro produce, these goods include crops, livestock, and dairy. Agricultural products can be further broken down into 4 categories.

  • Food - Agro products encompass all food items that are made for human and animal consumption. For example, animal feed, farmed fish, and honey is food made from agricultural products.
  • Fuel - Fuel is a substance that can release energy to produce heat or power. Agro products, such as corn and sugarcane, can create ethanol, for example. Companies can then use ethanol as an additive for automotive gasoline.
  • Fiber - Agricultural crops, such as cotton, wool, and silk are often used by textile companies to create linen pieces. These fibers can also produce various types of rope and cloth.
  • Raw Materials - Raw materials refer to goods that do not get processed or refined. They can be used to feed livestock, which will become another form of agriculture.
There is a diverse range of categories, in which agricultural products can fall under. This also means there are different types of businesses associated with agricultural production. For example, livestock breeding, crop harvesting, and greenhouses that grow products for retail are agro producers. Ranches, aquatic farms, and tree farms are also considered to be agricultural businesses.

It is important to understand that storing and preserving raw materials is not a part of agricultural production. Handling and distributing goods, meatpacking, and processing products are also not forms of agriculture. Lastly, farming and caring for animals for personal use, and not for retail, is not an agricultural production activity.

Types of Agricultural Products

There are great varieties of agricultural products that food manufacturers often use for operations. The following are 2 of the most common agro products that are prevalent in foodservice businesses.

1. Products Obtained From Plants or Crops

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There are many different types of goods that food manufacturers can make from plants and crops.

These are popular grain products that are known for being the foundation of many people's diets. Generally, cereal goods contain high amounts of carbohydrates than proteins and fats. Some common types of cereals include rice, corn, wheat, barley, rye, and oats.

Pulses are another type of grain, however, they contain a higher percentage of proteins than carbohydrates. Also known as legumes, pulses are commonly in the form of beans, peas, peanuts, and lentils.

Seeds are scientifically known as a type of plant that is covered in a protective outer coating. The most common seeds that people use for cooking and production include cottonseeds, mustard seeds, basil seeds, sesame seeds, and castor seeds.

Foodservice businesses and general individuals use spices to enhance the taste and flavor of foods. These products include pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, and onion.

Fruits, such as grapes, apples, pineapples, and berries, are known for their source of water, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.

Vegetables, such as mushrooms, cucumber, and carrots, are also notable for their nutrients and vitamins.

Dry Fruits and Nuts
This includes dates, walnuts, chestnuts, and cashews.

Edible Oils
Restaurants and individuals use oils, like coconut oil, olive oil, and vegetable oil, to cook and prepare food. It can also be utilized for personal use.

Beverages and Juices
These are drinkable products that are extracted from agricultural goods. For example, humans will often consume coffee from coffee beans, tea from tea leaves, and juice from fruits.

Fodder is an ingredient that producers and farmers often use to supplement feed for animals and livestock. These products include hay, straw, barley, and legumes.

2. Products Obtained From Animals or Animal Byproducts

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The following are goods that are created by or from livestock animals.

Livestock and Pets
Livestock includes products, such as cattle, horses, pigs, fishes, and poultry. Agricultural products also encompass animals that are farmed or bred with the intention of keeping them as pets. This includes dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Livestock Products
This entails goods that are created by livestock animals. For example, dairy products, such as milk, cream, cheese, and butter come from cows. Similarly, eggs come from poultry and fish, while bacon and pork cuts come from pigs.

Conclusion to Agricultural Products

  • Agricultural products are goods that are created from plants, animals, and microorganisms. Also known as agricultural produce or agro products, these goods are consumed and used in high amounts by food industries and individuals.
  • Agricultural products can be categorized into 4 classifications. They include food, fuel, fiber, and raw materials.
  • Generally, agricultural products refer to goods that are produced directly from farming, harvesting, and ranching. Products that are handled by meatpackers or have been processed, refined, or distributed are not agro products.
  • With consideration to agro products that are made as food, there are 2 different types. First, are goods that are obtained from crops and plants. This includes seeds, vegetables, and produce.
  • The second food-related agricultural product is goods obtained by animals and animal byproducts. This includes dairy products and raw meat.